December 2005


I of the Storm

Dec 1, 2005 By Paul Burka

The Gulf carried mendacity in every molecule. Its beauty, its tranquillity, was all a lie. It had created Galveston, carved out its deepwater port, tempted us with the promise of greatness, and then betrayed us.

The Lost City

Dec 1, 2005 By Gary Cartwright

A few of the streets near what used to be downtown have familiar names, but Arlington has mutated into a disconnected clump of shopping malls, cul-de-sacs, and gated communities, faceless, soulless neighborhoods that give urban sprawl a bad name.


Dec 1, 2005 By Wyatt McSpadden

People have an attitude about the Panhandle, as if living there is a hardship. To this day, they offer condolences when they learn where I’m from.

Army Brat

Dec 1, 2005 By Michael Hall

More than anything, we hated the moves, the long drives in a hot car with squabbling siblings, then getting to the new post and having to be the new kid all over again.


An Excerpt from “Little Town Lies”

Dec 1, 2005 By Anne Strieber

Chapter 1 Sally Hopkins gave up trying to find an NPR station. They didn’t make that kind of radio out here, not on the long road back home … and maybe that was just as well. She stopped twisting the dial when she heard the faint sound of country music…

Books That Cook

Dec 1, 2005 By carolynjoe

The Dallas Junior Leaguers are at it again. Not only do these women volunteer some 120,000 hours at nonprofit agencies in Dallas and throughout the Metroplex, but they’re also warmly hospitable and talented in the kitchen as evidenced by their beautiful new cookbook Dallas Dish. As you might expect from…


Lost Horizon

Dec 1, 2005 By Jeff McCord

Musicians have been exploring the majesty of the electric-guitar sound almost since the instrument’s invention, but it’s only recently that a spate of instrumental rock bands has sprung forth in dedication to it. Friends of Dean Martinez (the “ez” was added at the behest of the Dean Martin estate) was…

Live in Austin, TX DVD/CD

Dec 1, 2005 By Jeff McCord

The long-running PBS show Austin City Limits has begun to loosen its grip on decades of peerless archives with a series of original broadcasts on DVD and companion CDs. Notable in the latest batch is Live From Austin TX (New West), a 1990 session with the short-lived supergrouping of Freddy…

The Funk Anthology

Dec 1, 2005 By Jeff McCord

It’s hard to pinpoint why time has not built the reputation of Houston’s Johnny “Guitar” Watson. It’s not that Watson wasn’t influential—artists from Jimi Hendrix to Etta James gave him his due—and it wasn’t for a lack of hits. His seventies funk period, now collected in The Funk Anthology (Shout…


Dec 1, 2005 By Mike Shea

Austinite R.J. Pineiro hits plenty of high notes in his near-future techno-thriller, Havoc (Forge). The year is 2009, and a spiffy military-strength robot orb stolen from the U.S. Nanosolutions compound in Central Texas is loose in Europe. It has switched into survival mode, replicating itself and resolving to wipe out…

Ringside Seat to a Revolution

Dec 1, 2005 By Mike Shea

Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez, 1893–1923 (Cinco Puntos) is a horseless carriage ride back to the dawn of the twentieth century, when revolution seemed to be carried around the world on the wind. And as portrayed by David Dorado Romo in…

Against Gravity

Dec 1, 2005 By Mike Shea

An immigrant’s tale—the specter of a life abandoned, the perilous promise of a better future—can make for compelling drama. Author Farnoosh Moshiri’s forced flight from revolutionary Iran in 1983 (she would end up in Houston for a time) provides an intriguing back story for her searingly beautiful novel Against Gravity…

Willie Nelson

Dec 1, 2005 By Evan Smith

“I always thought that if I was having fun doing what I was doing and making a living doing it, then I was already successful.”


This Month’s Contributors

Dec 1, 2005 By Texas Monthly

Roberto Parada, who illustrated the seven Where I’m From profiles, was born in North Arlington, New Jersey. Executive editor Mimi Swartz (“Midnight in the Garden of Memory,” was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Senior executive editor Paul Burka (“I of the Storm,” was born in Galveston. Writer-at-large Oscar…

Ethan Hawke

Dec 1, 2005 By Pamela Colloff

Larry McMurtry writes about how if you’re forced to leave Texas before you’re ready, before the state lets you go, you always dream of it.

Lynn Wyatt

Jan 20, 2013 By Mimi Swartz

I had no clue about the amount of magic Texas held. Texas had a persona all its own, and I was proud to be a little smidgen part of it.


Around the State

Dec 1, 2005 By Texas Monthly

December—People, Places, Events, Attractions 12-2005 It’s list-checking time again up at the North Pole, so if you’ve been more naughty than nice this year, some friendly advice: Head straight to Columbus. You can plead your case directly—and ad nauseam—at the Mary Elizabeth Hopkins Santa Claus Museum, where more than two…

Rah Deal

Dec 1, 2005 By Texas Monthly

Great article about the cheerleading debate [“Flipping Out,” October 2005]. All I can say is this: It’s funny that the legislators mention “more of our young girls getting pregnant in middle and high school, dropping out of school, having babies,” when it’s the young ladies on the cheerleading squads…